Today the Rolling Stones announced their 2013 tour schedule (see below). Between that Rolling Stones news and the work the Curatorial, Exhibitions and Collections staff have been doing to get ready for Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, a feature exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opening May 24, I've been immersed in the "world's greatest rock and roll band" for several months. Among other things, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit will highlight the Rolling Stones touring during the last half century, years of concerts that have made them one of the best – if not the best – live rock and roll acts in history.
I was lucky to grow up in Detroit, Michigan, at a time when music was everywhere and radio was vibrant and meaningful. That city produced so many extraordinary musicians – Hank Ballard, Jackie Wilson, the MC5, the Stooges, Bob Seger, the entire Motown roster – it’s nearly impossible to comprehend. Detroit gave rise to some of the genre's best. It was there I became captivated by the Rolling Stones.
"Clichéd as it might be, we've always been a good, hard rock and roll band," Angus Young has said of his group, 2003 Hall of Fame inductees AC/DC. More than simply "good," AC/DC has reigned as one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world for decades.
In this Gallery Talk clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the story behind the iconic schoolboy outfit worn by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. This outfit – along with other items from AC/DC's lengthy career – is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, in the heavy metal section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit.
Tommy Clarke is a native New Yorker and was a first-responder at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His experience at the tragedy profoundly changed his life. Clarke felt a duty to keep alive the memory of those who died that day, as well as the survivors who still suffer effects from the attacks and the collapse of the towers.
Clarke enlisted his longtime friend and three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Clapton to create something to honor the three services of first responders – the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Clapton brought in master luthier Todd Krause from the Fender Guitar Custom Shop and legendary graffiti artist Lee Quinones to design and build three guitars.
Quinones interviewed many 9/11 survivors to get their thoughts and impressions about the events. With their stories as inspiration, Quinones and Clarke conceptualized the renderings that Quinones then painted on the back of each guitar. Clarke secured authentic badges and commendation bars, and Krause installed them on the instruments he built himself. Clapton brought these guitars on tour with him in 2011 and played ...
Born on February 20, 1967, today would've been Kurt Cobain's 46th birthday. Emerging from the burgeoning grunge movement of the early 80s – an alternative sub genre that incorporated elements of indie, punk, hardcore and heavy metal – the Cobain-fronted Nirvana came together in 1987, releasing their debut Bleach in 1989, with bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Chad Channing.
In April 1990, Nirvana began work on its second album. With drummer Chad Channing leaving the band, Cobain and Novoselic recorded tracks with Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters and later Dale Crover of the Melvins, both friends from the Seattle music scene. Eight songs were recorded for the group's demo: "Immodium" (later renamed "Breed"), "Dive" (later released as the B-side to "Sliver"), "In Bloom," "Pay to Play" (eventually renamed "Stay Away" and given a new set of lyrics), "Sappy," "Lithium," "Here She Comes Now" (released on Velvet Underground Tribute Album: Heaven and Hell Volume 1) and "Polly." The band added two tracks from Bleach to the tape and used the recording to shop for a new label. Within a few months, the demo tape was circulating among major labels, creating a buzz around the group. The band would eventually sign ...
For decades, love, in all its permutations, has proven among rock and roll's most powerful tonics. From blissful to bawdy, artists have regaled listeners with memorable tales of romance that have inspired and infuriated, giving the language of love a bold voice in the process.
Through February 17, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is sharing the love with a special self-guided tour highlighting artifacts that relate rock's more romantic side. Visitors to the Rock Hall on February 14 will be treated to a special curator-led version of the tour, which covers the Beatles, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Sex Pistols, U2 and more.
Among the artifacts featured are the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," written by Tony Asher and Brian Wilson, and appearing on 1966's Pet Sounds. Wilson originally disliked the opening line of the song, “I may not always love you,” feeling it was “too negative." After hearing the rest of Asher's lyrics, however, he changed his mind. “God Only Knows” was one of the first pop songs to use the word “god” in its title, and though he feared the worst, Wilson decided ...
Today, January 21, 2013, we welcome visitors to the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an event that celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King. There are performances, speakers and admission to the Museum is free.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance is a time for people to reflect on the accomplishments of the African-American people, including the art form known today as rock and roll. If not for the struggles and sacrifices that Dr. King and his contemporaries made, the voices and musical talents of many African-American artists may not have come to be respected and recognized at the level they are today.
Naturally, the Rock Hall salutes those visionary musicians who were the genesis of rock and roll – not just on Martin Luther King Day, but every day. King's pioneering spirit is echoed in the music that is the foundation of rock and roll, the foundation of all the Rock Hall celebrates.
The Rock Hall's "Roots of Rock" exhibit highlights the importance of recognizing rock's origins – those true pioneers – including gospel, blues, jazz and R&B, soul, country and folk music ...
“It was a group of talented musicians that made up – three guys that expressed, power…creating a sound that everybody in this room can relate to and certainly set the stage for our outfit.” – Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top inducting Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Formed in July 1966 and widely regarded as being the first successful supergroup, Cream was a British rock outfit made up of guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. By the time the trio came together, they were far from rock and roll neophytes, as each member of the group had found success in other acts during the 1960s. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were members of Blues Incorporated until the band broke up in 1963, while Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965. The same year Clapton exited the Yardbirds, Bruce joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (which also featured Clapton on guitar). By 1966, Bruce was a member of Manfred Mann and continued to collaborate with Clapton as a member of Powerhouse, which included Hall of Fame inductee Steve Winwood.
In their short 28-month run, Cream became a commercial success ...
Any kid that grew up in the 1970s with dreams of becoming the next guitar hero had to start somewhere – usually playing a cheap acoustic model and trying to master the Mel Bay chord chart. The exciting part came when your slightly more advanced friends – and fellow budding guitarists – passed along a few iconic rock and roll licks: the opening riff to Chuck Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode," the bassline to Deep Purple’s "Smoke on the Water" and that ringing D chord hammer-on flourish in David Bowie’s "Ziggy Stardust." These were the ones that you played endlessly, and especially enthusiastically if the song happened to come on the radio.
David Bowie, who opened his first U.S. tour in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 22, 1972, marks another milestone today with his first new release in a decade, "Where are We Now?," as he also celebrates his 66th birthday. The song's title gave me pause, prompting me to wonder where rock and roll would be without David Bowie.
For decades, Bowie's music has challenged and captivated fans and critics alike. Sending bold messages ...